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Social Workers Share What Drives Their Passion for Helping Children and Families

social workers

Social work is a helping profession focused on enhancing human well-being and meeting people’s basic and complex needs, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable, oppressed and living in poverty. KVC’s team of social workers makes numerous positive impacts in hundreds of communities nationwide. Read on to see what makes two KVC Kentucky social workers passionate about their careers!

Garra Barker

KVC’s Mission Resonates With Me

Submitted by Garra Barker, Family Preservation Program Supervisor

If you complete a quick Google search of the term “resonate”, you’ll find it is defined as “feeling shared emotions or beliefs with something or someone.” As I pondered on the question, “Why does KVC’s mission resonate with me?”, I immediately thought back to a few weeks ago when I was at a birthday party.

I met an individual who was also a social worker and graduated from the same college as me many years before. I was eager to speak to him about his experiences and share mine. At the end of the conversation, the gentleman said, “Young lady, I can tell you’re very passionate about what you do.”

This really stuck with me on my drive home, and I think it’s very much related to KVC’s mission to enrich and enhance the lives of children and families by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services and education.

I was privileged to begin my career at KVC with a pilot program, Kentucky Strengthening Ties and Empowering Parents, or KSTEP, which is intended to increase case coordination services and partnerships with families and allow for rapid access to clinical services. Working in this program, I have been able to see positive changes in families small and large over the past three years that have made me passionate about my job and eager to continue to help children and families.

I have personally witnessed families who entered our program and reported to us that they felt lost, broken and confused. By the end of services these same families were given the tools to overcome their struggles and keep their family units together.

This is why our mission resonates with me and I’m so passionate about the work we do here.

If this also resonates with you, click here to view KVC’s current open positions!


Miriam Wagner

I’ve Seen Amazing Family Breakthroughs at KVC, and KVC Has Supported My Family, Too

Submitted by Miriam Wagner, Family Preservation and Reunification Supervisor

I’ve been with KVC Kentucky for a little more than five years. KVC has given me the ability to do meaningful work while valuing my family commitments. My Kentucky team has encouraged my growth and knowledge, and I have been able to develop true friendships where I work. I can honestly say “I have a work best friend” when filling out our employee surveys!

About a year after I came to work for KVC, I became a surrogate parent to my niece, who tragically lost her mother, my sister. KVC Kentucky committed to helping me make time for her and make my schedule work around being there for her. The flexible schedule they allow me to work is invaluable.

When it comes to the children and families I’ve served, I often reflect on past client successes and how much they were able to grow during the time they worked with our KVC Kentucky team. I’ve seen teenagers succeed in school when they thought it was impossible and I’ve witnessed parents develop coping skills to excel.

I’ve also observed countless moments of laughter and joy when working with our younger clients. Through it all, I’ve witnessed home environments improve so that they can remain safely together. I am proud to be a part of KVC Kentucky.

Are you passionate about helping people feel safe and connected to others? We’re looking for smart, caring individuals like you to join our team! KVC Health Systems employs nearly 1,500 people who strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and help people achieve mental health wellness.

Join the KVC Team - Help protect children and strengthen families.